Former Worthing shopkeeper joins Sussex Police in Bognor as latest police officer recruit

A former Worthing shopkeeper is one of the latest new police officers funded by the Government’s 20,000-officer recruitment campaign to hit the streets.

PC Mitulkumar Patel from Worthing
PC Mitulkumar Patel from Worthing

Mitulkumar Patel joined the Bognor Regis policing team as a response officer at the end of February.

He had worked behind the counter of his family shop in Worthing for more than ten years before joining Sussex Police.

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The father-of-two finally made the leap into his dream job in September 2019 when he began training at police HQ in Lewes.

He said: “It’s a very proud moment for me and my family.

“I have wanted to be part of the team many years, having seen officers on the streets from my shop.”

He described his old role as a shopkeeper as ‘comfortable’ and ‘routine’, and said: “I’m looking forward to the new challenges and every day being different.

“I’m here to make a difference.

“I want to help tackle offenders, get them off the street and look after communities and vulnerable people who need our attention.”

PC Patel is one of 129 Sussex officers to be recruited by March 2021, funded by the first phase of the Government initiative, which aims to recruit 20,000 officers by 2023.

In addition to the posts created as part of the Government’s recruitment commitment, the force is on track to recruit the extra 250 police officers, 100 PCSOs and 50 specialist staff funded by the 2018/2019 local precept increases.

Chief Constable Giles York QPM welcomed them to the force and said: “Recent precept rises, together with greater government investment, provides us with an exceptional opportunity to employ the right mix of officers and police staff to deliver an effective, efficient and high quality policing service to the people of Sussex.

“It reinforces our move into a period of significant growth and will tangibly strengthen our position to meet increasing and changing demand.

“It allows a step-change in our policing approach and greater proactivity in taking the fight to criminals.

“As recruitment plans come to fruition, they will make a positive difference to the public of Sussex.

“Already our communities can see and feel the difference of earlier investment and, with this additional commitment, we can do even more: catch more criminals, protect more victims and prevent and solve more crime.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “As we were already in a period of significant growth, Sussex Police has had the capacity to become one of the first forces to welcome officers from the national uplift.

“This shows our determination to give Sussex residents what they want – a visible and proactive force which is tough on crime.

“All of our new recruits are of the highest calibre having been through a rigorous recruitment and training process.

“They have a drive to tackle crime and protect our most vulnerable and I look forward to visiting them out on patrol and seeing them in action for myself.”

The force is looking to recruit more officers – find out how to apply for a role here